Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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Phala Phala & the crisis of a bosom buddy in the city

Everyone deserves someone called the bosom buddy. That person who your family knows is your long-term, grand friendship through all seasons. The more powerful you are, the greater significance this person seems to hold in your affairs. No court can be held without that person, you can’t be buried before they say the final rights. Your daughter cannot be married without them, in our African cultural circles equally your family milestones cannot be completed without them.

They grace every family event and meaningful occasion. Now that brings me to the story of one Cyril Ramaphosa, president of the republic of South Africa. Where is his bosom buddy? Someone who would have told him not to stuff millions of US dollars into a sofa. BETTER still someone who would have taken the cash to a vault at BVS, or deposited it in a foreign account way out of the reach of local pilfering fingers. Someone who would have said this is not going to end well, there is a smarter plan.

ED Mnangagwa has Kuda Tagwirei, his ultimate hatchet man. Every big deal in town, Kuda is part of it. He is more feared than some cabinet ministers, I am told. Jacob Zuma had the Gupta brothers. They appointed & in SA terms, disappointed ministers, SOE CEOs and were the ultimate measure of a powerful kitchen cabinet presence. Ronald Reagan said he could not make a major personal decision without consulting Bill Casey, his attorney and best buddy. Bill Casey, the formidable tax attorney & ultimate negotiator, became the CIA director under Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton had Vernon Jordan, his golf buddy and best friend who famously arranged Monica Lewinsky’s next assignment after the WH project looked decidedly slimy. Vernon Jordan told Time magazine that Vernon Jordan is his own man, answerable to no publication & firmly declined their interview on the above subject. Sat on 15 blue chip NYSE boards & declined hundreds of board positions every year.

He is, in my books, the ultimate ‘kitchen cabinet power-house’ of all quiet power. Ophra Winfrey has Gayle King. Everyone needs that true friend in all seasons. They will take the fall for your dumb decisions.

They will veto the new boyfriend and everyone knows that they hold the key to your deepest thoughts. They listen to you rumble on, mourn about the inconsequential. They share your life with you. The celebrate your greatest achievements like their own! They are the first to know of your ultimate ascend to that deal you dreamt of.

Psychopaths notoriously live isolated lives. One would imagine to hatch such evil & brutality, they do deserve the torture that comes with such melancholic lives. Vladimir Putin has no known friends, neither did Adolf Hilter. Such isolation makes one even more paranoid, sad and prone to depression. Of course some of the greatest scientists on earth cast very lonely figures. Their passion is completely tied to some life-long project, often the entire world inherits the results of their genius. Today, I wish Cyril such great friendship, God knows he badly needs one. When he attempted to keep his farm free of costly police presence like one Zuma, he got nabbed by thugs. Case of damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. The country needs him.



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